This weekend I had the opportunity to visit Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens, located in Pine Mountain, Georgia. This has quickly become one of my family's favorite Holiday traditions and it is one of the world's “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights,” as named by National Geographic Traveler. Last year was the first year we went. We didn't really know what to expect, but we were so impressed that we made sure to plan out our trip better this year.
First stop is Christmas Village! There is no parking fee or admission fee to Christmas Village. While inside the climate-controlled building you can visit Santa, shop for unique holiday gifts, get your face painted, purchase yummy treats or warm beverages.
Then head outside to enjoy two complimentary light shows. One of them is the story of the Nativity. We had a blanket so we spread it on the lawn and got a front row seat. It was nice to share this time with the family and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. The other light show is The Night Before Christmas. The kids loved watching this lighted story. Each of these stories lasted about 10 minutes and run continuously throughout the night
Then it was time for us to board the trolley for Fantasy in Lights! You can choose to take a trolley ride or ride in your own car. Ticket information can be found here. This is the BEST Holiday lights show I have ever seen! Well worth your money! It boasts a whopping 8 MILLION lights! As you drive through the display you will pass through 15 lighted scenes. Some of them include the 12 days of Christmas, the North Pole, a forest scene and my favorite is Snow Flake Valley where you are surrounded by what seems like millions of twinkling white lights. It's amazing! My whole family enjoyed it. There are speakers set up that plays music and sound effects to go along with the lights. My kids were singing along and clapping their hands! The entire light tour takes about 45 minutes. Make sure you bring a blanket and some hot chocolate to keep warm!
Last year this is where we ended our fun. We headed home after our Fantasy in Lights show. This year we wanted to continue our stay so we could enjoy more of Callaway Gardens. We stayed in a lovely 2 bedroom Cottage right in the park. There are packages available that have tickets and over night accommodations. We loved our cottage. It was equipped with a kitchen, screened in porch, family area, 4 queen sized beds and a fire place! It was so nice to come come back from the lights show and warm up next to a real fire!
In the morning we headed out for another fun filled day. The first stop we made was to the butterfly center. Inside there are thousands of butterflies flying around…a little girl's dream come true! My girls loved watching the butterflies flutter around them. The hardest part is make sure they don't grab them!
After our butterfly fun we went on a little nature walk and then caught a Birds of Prey show at the Discovery Center. The birds literally fly right over your head! These shows are offered daily and you don't want to miss them!
We then headed over to the Horticulture Center. I love walking around the 2 indoor green houses and seeing all the plants. During the holiday season they have special displays. My personal favorite was a giant Christmas tree made out of white and red poinsettias. Everything was so beautiful.
There were so many other things to see and do at Callaway Gardens, we will definitely be back again! If you live near the area or are looking for a nice place to travel to for Christmas vacation I highly recommend visiting Fantasy in Lights. It really is by far the best lights display I have seen. It's the perfect way to get into that Holiday Spirit!
*Disclosure: Tickets to Fantasy in Lights and admissions to the Gardens were complimentary courtesy of Callway Gardens, but my thoughts and opinions are my own!
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